Friday, 30 November 2012

The month of November

Last day of the holidays and Warmth had the day off. A day of chores and beginning the paint choosing for the newly plastered front room. Will it be Lamp Room Gray, French Gray, Elephant's Breath or Old White?
A lovely afternoon/evening with Warmth's brother and wife. starting off with drinks in the Young Vic bar and then a carb fest of burgers, chips and mac cheese, the vegetables being onion rings, courgette fries and a slice of pickle at Byron Burger.
A very wet Sunday with a mooch at We Make London Fair and resting before returning back to school. What a lovely relaxing week it's been.
Back to school and Friday night supper with Mama and Papa Warmth who've just come back from some time in France.
Then off to my parents for a family weekend to say goodbye to Pops who is now in Palestine with EAPPI. A weekend of food. Arriving in time for tea and rock cakes, a Chinese takeaway, a delicious breakfast whilst Pops opened his Christmas gifts, then a glorious walk along the beach in Deal before home for roast pork, the choice of three puddings and a huge cheese board. Then a tearful au revoir.
Meeting up with my dear old colleagues at our favourite restaurant for chat, Early Years news and friendship. A very lovely belated birthday gift of vouchers for Anthropologie meant that I could buy the measuring cups I've been drooling over for the last month. So glad I resisted the other times.
Meeting up with a dear university friend at Tate Britain for the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition. How funny to read this as the opening line of my book on the train in.
'There is a certain room in the Tate Gallery which, in these unregenerate days is more a passage-way towards the French pictures...'
'He now observed that it was mostly hung with large with large and unpleasant works of the 'Every picture tells a story' school, interspersed with some rather inferior examples of pre-Raphaelitism...' Nancy Mitford Christmas Pudding
A very lovely Friday night in with mother and then a very cold, wet, grey mis Saturday beginning the Christmas shopping.
Lunch with Mama and Papa Warmth.
Suddenly feeling it getting much colder...

Reading The other side of truth by Beverley Ngaioo for the English course I'm on through school. A little troubling reading about refugees and trying to get into a country just as dad was flying to Israel and then onto Palestine in the midst of everything. Making a long waited for start on the first of my Christmas books - Christmas Pudding by Nancy Mitford. No baking, apart from the ubiquitous banana bread, I'm all ready for December baking though.

Monday, 26 November 2012

two boxes of fancy notepaper

We started some of our Christmas shopping this weekend and had our traditional Christmas shopping lunch of a Pret turkey sandwich.

'Either side of the crowded dirty street the lights were coming out in the shop windows. Snow fingered their faces like cold feathers. They went gay. They bought red, green, yellow, and solferino candles in a box for a shilling at an ironmongers, they bought red and gold cake frill for sixpence at a cash drug stores, and two boxes of fancy notepaper and two pairs of gloves at a drapers. They bought oranges, and chocolate mice, and soap babies, and penny whistles for the stockings...' Elizabeth Cambridge Hostages to Fortune

Are you an organised buy gifts in advance person or do you like to save it for nearer the time?

Thursday, 22 November 2012

adorned a belle

We're still enjoying arranging and decorating our home. Warmth's latest find from Ebay is a wonderful bureau. It holds books, but open it up and there is space for stationery and to write letters.

'Amy's chief delight was an Indian cabinet full of queer drawers, little pigeon-holes, and secret places in which were kept all sorts of ornaments, some precious, some merely curious, all more or less antique. To examine and arrange these things gave Amy great satisfaction, especially the jewel cases; in which, on velvet cushions, reposed the ornaments which had adorned a belle forty years ago.' Louisa May Alcott Little Women

I can't imagine Aunt March having any furniture like this, but I can imagine Amy admiring and desiring an such a piece.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Our greatest heart treasure

I'm still mulling on Someone at a distance. Would this passage fit in with Ellen's thoughts and beliefs?

'Our greatest heart treasure is a knowledge that there is in creation an individual to whom our existence is necessary - some one who is part of our life as we are part of theirs, some one in whose life we feel assured our death would leave a gap for a day or two. And who can this be but a husband or wife? Our parents have other children and themselves, our brothers and sisters marry and have lives apart, so with our friends; but ones husband would be different.' Miles Franklin My Brilliant Career


Friday, 16 November 2012

Goodbye, my love

We all travelled home on Sunday for a farewell lunch for Pops. Tomorrow he leaves for three months volunteering in Palestine with EAPPI

'Language was inadequate, after all. One used the same words for a parting which might be for years... as one did for an overnight business trip. She put her arms tightly around him and said, 'Goodbye, my love.' Mollie Panter-Downes Goodbye, my love in Good Evening, Mrs Craven: The wartime stories of Mollie Panter-Downes

au revoir
He's only going for three months the words the same as usual when we say goodbye after a family weekend but the tears and the longer, tighter hug spoke of a different au revoir.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Someone at a distance

Whilst reading Someone at a distance I thought what a wonderful television, BBC I feel, adaptation it would make. If they hurried I'm sure it could be ready for next Christmas. There would have to be a caveat of no changing the story line as a film company did with Miss Pettigrew lives for a day.  My mind started wandering who would I cast?

I think Kiera Knightly fresh from her Anna Karenina role would play Louise, Audrey Tatou though beautiful is too lovely for the part. Louise also reminded me of maybe modern day WAG and how we think characters only out for glamour and money are a modern occurrence. Louise shows that they have always, and will always exist.

'The light from the lamp shone downwards on her smooth dark head. Her arms were bare and slender on the desk, her dress, her favourite magenta red, fitted closely over waist and bosom and spread into wide skirts as she sat. ...there was no one to look at her. But it really didn't matter, because she looked at herself from time to time in the mirror on the wall. She always gave as much pleasure to her own eyes as to others. More, in fact, because she alone knew what perfect finish she had achieved.'


I fear that Colin Firth is perhaps too old to play Avery,
'Nevertheless, at forty-three, he was beginning to put on weight. So far it only added to his good looks. He was tall and it suited him to be slightly heavy in build.'

I'm still undecided on Ellen, Hugh and Anne. Though in my mind Anne would be dressed in Orla Kiely clothes, with blonde hair and a fringe.
'She was such a persuasive teasing sort of child. Very lovable.' 
Orla Kiely

I'm pondering Dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench as a wonderful double act of Miss Beasley and Mrs Pretty the cleaners (would make a change for Maggie Smith from being The Dowager), or would one of them be better as Old Mrs North and the other as Mrs Brockington?

There will then be a raft of wonderful small parts for all our great character actors and actresses. John Bennett, Miss Beldon the head teacher, stroppy Mrs Beard at Somerton, Miss Daley, Papa and Mama, Paul Devoisy.

Who would you cast in your adaptation of Someone at a distance?

Thursday, 8 November 2012

unseen, but certain

The final quote that I really liked, that in its way concludes the book.

'She had learnt to wait for the changes and the help that life brings. Life is like the sea, sometimes you are in the trough of the wave, sometimes on the crest, and always, trough or crest a mysterious tide bears you forward to an unseen, but certain shore.' Dorothy Whipple


Monday, 5 November 2012

love and courage

Rachel mentioned that she'd be hosting a read along of Someone at a Distance in the second week of November and lo and behold I just happened to be reading that novel. Rachel will I'm sure write the most wonderful and thought provoking posts. So I shall mainly focus on favourite passages. There were two that really spoke to me, passages that stick with you and one hopes to remember and return to when needed.

'You must go on with love and courage... and trust to God to carry you forward through your life.'
.... 'I think the way to grow in faith is to behave as if all God's promises are true, and miraculously, you find that they are.' Dorothy Whipple Someone at a Distance


Friday, 2 November 2012

pale-lit hours

So November is upon us. Hopefully it won't be as bleak as this description in Alaska.

'November was here, and it frightened her because she knew what it brought - cold upon the valley like a coming death, glacial wind through the cracks between the cabin logs. But most of all, darkness. Darkness so complete even the pale-lit hours would be choked.' Eowyn Ivey The Snow Child
cabin cosy

What are your plans for November?